Today, Freedom to Marry and Freedom Oklahoma released a new marriage equality television ad that will run across the state of Oklahoma next week. In the TV commercial, Ed Cuyler, a retired Army colonel talks about why marriage matters to his daughter Deedra and her partner Amber, who are raising three young children of their own.
“Here in Oklahoma, we value family,” Cuyler says in the ad. “When Deedra told me she was gay, as her dad, I was worried because I wanted to protect her. When Deedra met Amber, I realized she could have a family. Only marriage means the ability to take care of your family.”
Deedra and Amber were legally married in Massachusetts, but their home state of Oklahoma will not recognize their marriage. They are lifelong Oklahomans, and they want to ensure that their family is protected as much as any other family in the state. Deedra, Amber, and their children live on the same 17-acre ranch with Ed and his wife Robbie.
In January 2014, U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Bishop v. Smith, where he claimed that laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying in Oklahoma are unconstitutional. The judge issued a stay on the ruling and the case is currently being appealed by the state. A ruling from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected within a few months.
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